The bright, red-orange color of paprika is only a hint of its fiery power that practically burns away infection, disease and inflammation.
Available in mild or hot varieties, paprika accents almost any dish with vibrant color and spicy flavor and with each bite helps the body launch an assault against disease invasions. Read on to see why paprika should be in your spice cabinet.
Like most spices, paprika is low in calories and fat, but has a good amount of dietary fiber, lots of vitamin C, potassium, iron, magnesium, antioxidant flavonoids and carotenoids (including zeaxanthin, which is responsible for the bright, red-orange color and beta carotene, which protects the eyes). Paprika also contains trace amounts of certain B vitamins, including B6 and B9 (folate).
What’s So Great About Paprika?
Paprika is made from ground-up chili peppers and bell peppers from the Capsicum annuum fruit, which means that ingesting and applying paprika to the skin offers other benefits.
A major ingredient in chili peppers, which give off the hot sensation, is capsaicin which has the ability to 1) relieve post-surgery pain, nerve pain, and minor bodily aches and pains; 2) reduce inflammation and swelling, which is especially beneficial to arthritis and gout sufferers; 3) aid in blood circulation; 4) help regulate blood sugar levels; and 5) keep the body warm and malleable, which is a great help during cold season.
Paprika is heavily laden with vitamin C, nearly nine times as much as you’d find in a tomato, four times more than that in oranges, and more vitamin C than the highly acidic lemon juice. Vitamin C is a powerhouse all by itself. Vitamin C is an antihistamine, which soothes and eliminates cold and flu symptoms like sneezing, coughing and scratchy throat.
Vitamin C also builds the immune system, promotes good heart health, energizes the body and prevents a plethora of diseases like cancer, stroke, pneumonia, and arthritis. The high level of vitamin C also helps the body to absorb iron.
Paprika improves digestion by keeping stomach acids under control, and reduces the risk of acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion.
The heating sensation of paprika raises body temperature, causes perspiration and ignites the metabolic process, all of which help you to lose weight easier and feel energized.
Paprika reduces the amount of homocysteine in the blood. This hormone is known to damage blood vessels, so with the added protection that paprika provides, blood vessels remain intact and free of blockages. As a result, the risk for stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure are reduced.
Paprika contains antioxidants that stay active fighting off disease, keeping the body free of carcinogens, and helping the body repair itself.
It is recommended by health experts that paprika be used in place of salt for its health benefits, while foregoing the effects of table salt. Sodium-rich diets can raise blood pressure, cause swelling, damage the heart, etc.